Memorial Wall

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This Memorial Wall is our tributes to those who have died as a result of child abuse, domestic violence, rape, religious abuse, or other types of abuse. Some of these people we knew personally, others we only heard of. Abuse is not a theoretical concept, it happens to real people, and costs lives. It's important to honor those we lost to abuse by telling their stories, so that the secret that killed them does not remain secret, and so that other lives might be saved, as a result of increased awareness.
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April 24th:
Christa Ann Alexander
died on April 24th, 2005

24yo Christa Ann from Louisiana, USA and her unborn child were killed by Christa's husband of four months. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter, obstruction of justice, and first-degree feticide for the unborn baby - but never explained why did he do it. "She was a doll, I suppose you would say," said Christa's father. "She already did a total of 17 mission trips. I told someone last night that she probably did 70 years of work in 24 years."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 25th:
Surjit Athwal
died on April 25th, 2007

Surjit was a Sikh woman from UK who wanted to live a more western lifestyle. Her husband was physically abusive, and she didn't like it. She also wanted to wear western clothes and go out with her friends sometimes, and she didn't get along with her mother-in-law, who wanted Surjit's kids to call her "mum", instead of Surjit. She left her husband once, and wanted a divorce, but he beat her up, threatened to kill her, and she agreed to move back together again. In 1997 Surjit became pregnant, and her husband thought it wasn't his, that she was cheating. In 1998 the mother-in-law said, "I've spoken to a contact in India. It's all going to be taken care of. It's her own fault - she's out of control. She's bringing shame on the family. We have to get rid of her." She convinced Surjit to go with her on a trip to India, where Surjit was drugged and murdered. Her body was never found and the date of death is unknown, but the mother-in-law and the husband were convicted of murder on April 25th, 2007, almost ten years later.

If you click on Surjit's name, you can read a page written by her sister-in-law, who testified against her mother-in-law, was (and still is) threatened and ostracized by her community for bringing shame on the family, and who was fearing for her own life during these 10 years of investigation.


Posted by Manya on February 19th, 2016
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Crown Shakur
died on April 25th, 2004

Crown Shakur was a 6-week-old baby from Georgia, USA, who died of starvation. His parents said they loved him and didn't mean to harm him. Crown was their first child, and they fed him soy milk and apple juice because breastfeeding was against their vegan beliefs. There's no problem with veganism, but babies should not be given juice for the first six months of their life, and soy milk doesn't have all the nutrients necessary for them. Parents who choose to raise their kids vegan can buy soy milk-based formula instead, which has protein, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. First-time parents who are unsure how to feed their baby can ask their pediatrician, or doctors or nurses at the hospital they delivered. When the police were investigating Crown's death, they found his bottle, which was rancid and caked with debris.

The prosecutor said "No matter how many times they want to say, 'We're vegans, we're vegetarians,' that's not the issue in this case ... The child died because he was not fed. Period."


Posted by Manya on February 4th, 2016
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April 26th:
Natalia (Beta) Trirat
died on April 26th, 2017

11-month-old Beta from Thailand lived with her mom, dad, and 5yo brother. Her dad was worried that her mom didn't love him anymore and might leave him soon. He took Beta to an abandoned building, filmed himself murdering her, posted the video on Facebook, and then committed suicide.


Posted by Manya on June 1st, 2017
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Zyon Thompson
died on April 26th, 2015

3yo Zyon from Virginia, USA, was staying with his mom's friends the last three weeks of his life. They made Zyon eat crab seasoning which gave him diarrhea, and then punished him for soiling himself, using "military torture techniques" such as waterboarding, making him stand with his arms out and water bottles strapped to his wrists, making him hang from a cabinet door, etc. During waterboarding they told the 3yo that his mother didn't want him. There were three adults and multiple children in the house, and Zyon's health was quickly deteriorating, but nobody called for ambulance because they were afraid of getting in trouble. On April 26th Zyon died of dehydration. All three adults blamed each other, but were convicted and sentenced for 32, 27, and 22 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on March 21st, 2017
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Natalie Perriello
died on April 26th, 2012

42 Mrs Perriello from New Hampshire, USA, worked for fifteen years as an elementary school teacher, and then for four more years as a high school teacher. According to her friends and family, "Natalie had two passions in her life: her family and her students. She was passionate about making a difference in the lives of her students with students continuing to be in contact with her years after leaving her classroom. Natalie truly believed that all her students would be successful, not only in high school, but in their chosen paths after high school." Mrs Perriello was shot in the head six times by her husband because he suspected her of having an affair with her former student. Their four children were in the house at the time of the murder. "I know what's about to happen to me," he told the 911 operator. "The gun is jammed anyway... it's useless."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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April 27th:
Aidan Fenton
died on April 27th, 2015

6yo Aidan from Australia suffered from diabetes. His 41yo mom and 56yo dad took him to an alternative healer who was visiting from China and was offering his services for AU$1,800 at a hotel. The services involved slapping and stretching Aidan's body to drive out toxins. "The slapping and stretching work together to clear the meridians of blocks and help the body get rid of disease," explained the self-proclaimed healer. Aidan died that night; the healer left the country, and the parents were charged with manslaughter. "We are losing the battle," said John Dwyer, a University of NSW professor of medicine about this case. "It's terribly important that alternative medicine in Australia is underpinned by credible evidence and science."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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Ayman Udas
died on April 27th, 2009

Ayman Udas a recently married woman in her early 30's was allegedly shot dead by her own brothers in the conservative city of Peshawar in Pakistan after she had appeared on television. She had become a musician in the face of bitter opposition from her family, who believed it was sinful for a woman to perform on television.


Posted by Jane on August 19th, 2018
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April 28th:
William Horstman
died on April 28th, 2015

52yo Mr Horstman from Missouri, USA, worked various jobs as a Heavy Equipment Operator for 35 years. He enjoyed deer and turkey hunting, fishing, riding his Harley Davidson Road King, and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. Mr Horstman was killed by his girlfriend; she ran him over with her SUV because he wouldn't move out of the way, and fled the scene. The autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma to his head and chest, including 20 broken ribs and massive brain bleeding. It also showed that he had not been facing her SUV at the time he was struck, police said. The woman was sentenced to 19 years in prison.


Posted by Manya on January 18th, 2018
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Christopher Barnard
died on April 28th, 2008

Christopher was a 4yo boy from Oklahoma who lived with his mom and mom's boyfriend. Neighbors, friends, and relatives started calling DHS two weeks after Christopher was born. They alerted DHS about poor living conditions, marks and bruises on Christopher, and the fact that he was left unsupervised on the front lawn while mom drove away to do some chores. DHS investigated the reports but found no confirmed abuse or neglect.

On April 28th four-year-old Christopher soiled his pants. In response to this, his mom's boyfriend twice punched Christopher in the stomach, and whipped him with a belt. Christopher died of internal injuries.


Posted by Manya on February 12th, 2016
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April 29th:
Salma Parveen
died on April 29th, 2013

22yo Salma from UK was abused by her violent husband and feared for her life. She finally asked him to leave her family home, and he strangled her with a scarf. Salma's family said, "Her life has not only been taken away from her, our lifestyle, spark and bonding of the family has also gone with her. Salma was the person we could trust with our eyes closed, the person who was always there for us, the person who we all looked up to."

Salma's story was included in the BBC2 Documentary "Love You To Death" that features interviews with friends and relatives of 86 UK women killed by their romantic partners in 2013.


Posted by Manya on March 7th, 2016
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April 30th:
Larry Martin
died on April 30th, 2013

28yo Larry from Chicago, USA, was stabbed to death by his pregnant girlfriend for not buying her a gift. Her, Larry, his 8yo son, and his adult male cousin spent the day at the local mall where Larry bought gifts for both the 8yo and the cousin, while the girlfriend didn't receive anything, even though her birthday was coming up. They had a fight on their way home, where she physically assaulted Larry while he was driving. It resulted in her leaving the three of them on the side of the road and driving home alone. When they arrived home by foot, she wouldn't open the door. Larry started banging on the door, she opened it and stabbed him with a knife, in plain view of his 8yo son. While the cousin tried to apply pressure to Larry's wound and call 911, she stood over him and said, "This is what you get for messing with me. I hope you die, mother f***."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 1st:
Wilfred Gardner
died on May 1st, 2011

85yo Wilfred Gardner was one of the Orchid View residents. Orchid View was a care home for the elderly in West Sussex, UK, that was operating from 2009 to 2011, charged £3000 per month, and provided "sub-optimal" care that was deemed "institutionalized abuse" and resulted in the death of five of its residents.

Mr Gardner was diabetic but sometimes he wasn't given his insulin, and sometimes there were no strips to check his blood sugar levels. He was also in pain but denied pain medication unless he asked for it. "He's got dementia, how would he know what to say?" commented his daughter.


Posted by Manya on March 5th, 2016
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Tanya
died on May 1st, 1989

We called her 'Tanya the iron' because she had a large nose. She was physically and sexually abused by her stepdad. In seventh grade we agreed to commit suicide together with her. She didnt wait for me, jumped from a 192 feet high construction site, was burried in a closed casket. She said her life was not livable. I was sad she was dead, but I thought it was her right, to make this choice, and I was glad she wasn't in pain anymore. Her choice made sense to me. And now I'm deeply sad and sorry that I wasn't old enough back then, and that there was no adult this 13yo girl could speak to. It cannot be that a life is ruined hopelessly when you're only 13. It could have been fixed, Tanya. I'm so sorry it wasn't.


Posted by Lera on May 22nd, 2013
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Danny (16 years)
died on May 1st, 1982

I wish you had found another way to deal with your pain. You are dearly missed.


Posted by jlc20m on May 6th, 2012
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May 2nd:
Ashlynne Mike
died on May 2nd, 2016

11yo Ashlynne from Navajo Nation, USA, was playing with her 9yo brother Ian near their bus stop after school, when a stranger lured them into his van. He drove them to a remote location, and then left Ian in the van and walked away with Ashlynne. After a while he returned to the van alone. Ian realized that his sister was hurt, ran off, and alerted adults. Ashlynne's body was found the next day; she was raped and beaten to death with a crowbar. 1,600 people attended her funeral. Press release from the presidents office included the following statement: "Since the death of our daughter, the Navajo Nation has worked diligently to establish an Amber Alert and 911 system."


Posted by Manya on March 19th, 2017
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May 3rd:
Yeardley Love
died on May 3rd, 2010

Yeardley Love was a 22yo student of University of Virginia, majoring in government and minoring in Spanish. She played women's lacrosse and field hockey, and dated a boy from the same school, also a lacrosse/hockey player. He had a drinking problem, and assaulted her while drunk. They broke up, but on May 3rd he broke into her apartment and "shook Love, and her head repeatedly hit the wall" (according to his testimony). Yeardley died.

Yeardley's family established the One Love Foundation to honor her memory (Yeardley wore jersey number "1" while playing lacrosse). "The mission of the foundation is to encourage and develop in children and young adults four qualities of character that Yeardley exemplified… service, kindness, humility and sportsmanship… that together add up to One Love," said Yeardley's mom.


Posted by Manya on February 14th, 2016
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